The Godfather Thread

..and why not?
moonie

Postby moonie » 13 Jul 2007, 23:30

The mister has just recently finished all three (for the first time) and I've enjoyed every minute. I grew up on the Godfather movies (my old man was a huge fan), and I can't imagine a single scene being eliminated--Even in three, which was by far the weakest of the three.

One question that I've never been able to figure out is why did Sal Tessio get sniped?? He was such a link to the past --what did he do?

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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 14 Jul 2007, 02:26

moonie wrote:The mister has just recently finished all three (for the first time) and I've enjoyed every minute. I grew up on the Godfather movies (my old man was a huge fan), and I can't imagine a single scene being eliminated--Even in three, which was by far the weakest of the three.

One question that I've never been able to figure out is why did Sal Tessio get sniped?? He was such a link to the past --what did he do?


Do you remember the scene where Vito Corleone tells Michael about how the other families will try to assasinate him after Vito's death? He tells him that somebody you trust will come to you and try to set up a meeting. That person warns Vito, will be the traitor.

Later at Vito's funeral, Tessio aproaches Michael for a meeting with Barzini.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Feb 2008, 14:16

I watched 1 on Friday & 2 last night - I can't remember the last time I watched them so close together.

You know - it's the utter desolation of Michael at the end that really hits home. He has everything - yet absolutely nothing. The final scene (the flashback to Vito's birthday, where Michael tells everyone he's enlisted that morning, and is left sitting by himself, whilst everyone greets Vito) is tremendously powerful. All those around the table are now either dead or totally subservient to Michael. Then, as it was, then again it shall be.........

I also think the scene that precedes that, where Tom is basically asked to prove his loyalty or fuck off to Vegas, is a ruthless, brutal emasculation of Michael's most loyal servant. And the key comes when Tom asks "Do you have to destroy everyone?", and Michael replies "I only kill my enemies". All of them. No matter what the circumstances - everyone perceived as a threat must be exterminated. It's complete megalomania, fuelled by rampant paranoia.

And that's the key - Vito knew how to call a truce "This war ends now". Michael didn't - his only answer is to kill those that challenge him. Always, without exception.

They are, without doubt, the two greatest, most compelling films it's ever been my pleasure to watch. But the second does leave you feeling ever so slightly grubby - and helpless. Good does not conquer all in this real world. The Godfather story is the Anti-Bible.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby brotherlouie » 03 Feb 2008, 19:32

Great post Pete.

It's been said before about them but they are Shakesperian/operatic stories. Michael is a great, flawed character. He becomes a character as dangerous and empty and paranoid as Hamlet - and I don't think the comparison is ridiculous. The comparisons between Vito and Michael are great parables for the old and new world, too.

I keep meaning to buy the DVD box set and watch it chronologically - all the DeNiro stuff from II, then all of the first one followed by the Pacino bits in II. Has anyone here done that? Is it still great?

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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Sneelock » 03 Feb 2008, 19:35

I think that was called "the godfather chronicles" and it was great. I prefer the films but it is a very interesting way to watch something that you already rate.

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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby The Modernist » 03 Feb 2008, 20:18

sneelock wrote:I think that was called "the godfather chronicles" and it was great. I prefer the films but it is a very interesting way to watch something that you already rate.


One thing you miss is the careful and elaborate cross-cutting of 2 which with its flashbacks and flash forwards invites you to read all kinds of comparisons and contrasts between past and present. That adds a whole new layer of complexity to the film.
But yeah, it is an interesting experience watching the chronological version, it certainly enhances the epic feel of the films.

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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Feb 2008, 20:51

sneelock wrote:I think that was called "the godfather chronicles" and it was great. I prefer the films but it is a very interesting way to watch something that you already rate.


Wasn't it also 'airbrushed' so it could be shown on American TV? It worked brilliantly, because it more closely reflected the book (obviously) but I think the censuring worked against it.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Sneelock » 03 Feb 2008, 20:59

you're absolutely right. 'the godfather saga' it was called and it was 'airbrushed'. previously unused footage was an interesting touch but it's certainly no replacement for the films themselves.

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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Feb 2008, 22:02

sneelock wrote:you're absolutely right. 'the godfather saga' it was called and it was 'airbrushed'. previously unused footage was an interesting touch but it's certainly no replacement for the films themselves.


Well, if it was done properly (with everything in the two films arranged chronologically, and no ommissions due to the taste police) I think it would work brilliantly. After all, the films are only the way they are because no one knew there was going to be a II. If, as films/sequels are now made, Coppola had known there was to be two films, I'm sure he would have shot them in exactly that fashion.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby The Modernist » 03 Feb 2008, 23:13

Diamond Dog wrote:
sneelock wrote:you're absolutely right. 'the godfather saga' it was called and it was 'airbrushed'. previously unused footage was an interesting touch but it's certainly no replacement for the films themselves.


Well, if it was done properly (with everything in the two films arranged chronologically, and no ommissions due to the taste police) I think it would work brilliantly. After all, the films are only the way they are because no one knew there was going to be a II. If, as films/sequels are now made, Coppola had known there was to be two films, I'm sure he would have shot them in exactly that fashion.


That's a big if, as I say earlier the structure of II contributes hugely to its power.

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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 04 Feb 2008, 07:48

The Modernist! wrote:
That's a big if, as I say earlier the structure of II contributes hugely to its power.


But it's an artificical structure, isn't it, G? If Coppola had known there were to be two films, I cannot believe that he would have done anything other than make the two films in chronological order.

I agree about the powr of the flashbacks, but (in the grand scheme) it was that way by accident.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 04 Feb 2008, 08:16

Diamond Dog wrote:
The Modernist! wrote:
That's a big if, as I say earlier the structure of II contributes hugely to its power.


But it's an artificical structure, isn't it, G? If Coppola had known there were to be two films, I cannot believe that he would have done anything other than make the two films in chronological order.

I agree about the powr of the flashbacks, but (in the grand scheme) it was that way by accident.

What do you mean by artifcial structure? It is art after all. I would hesitate at presupposing how Coppola would have structured the films had the funding been made available to make all 3 before he begun.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 04 Feb 2008, 08:40

mentalist wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:
The Modernist! wrote:
That's a big if, as I say earlier the structure of II contributes hugely to its power.


But it's an artificical structure, isn't it, G? If Coppola had known there were to be two films, I cannot believe that he would have done anything other than make the two films in chronological order.

I agree about the powr of the flashbacks, but (in the grand scheme) it was that way by accident.

What do you mean by artifcial structure? It is art after all. I would hesitate at presupposing how Coppola would have structured the films had the funding been made available to make all 3 before he begun.


By artifical, I mean it isn't the way the book is, nor does it flow chronologically. I'm just guessing, and it's no more than that, that to make the two films the way he did (knowing both were to be made) would be perverse. I don't believe anyone would say "Okay, we'll do the middle two quarters of the book in film one, and then the first and last quarters in film two".

Don't get me wrong - it's a fantastic accident/artifical structure. I'm just surmising that Coppola wouldn't, with prior knowledge, have done it that way. It would be interesting to see others views on it?
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Jeemo » 04 Feb 2008, 09:39

I would rather the structure of the films than the book. The book is nothing more than a pot boiler, the whole falling in love with the Doctor that fixed Sonny's girlfriend extra lippy front bottom. :roll:
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 04 Feb 2008, 10:37

Jeemo wrote:I would rather the structure of the films than the book. The book is nothing more than a pot boiler, the whole falling in love with the Doctor that fixed Sonny's girlfriend extra lippy front bottom. :roll:


That's what I said Jim - keep the content of the present films, but rearrange them chronologically. Absolutely - I wouldn't want that nonsense in!
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Conrad Knight Socks » 06 Feb 2008, 11:11

None of the Hyman Roth stuff is in the book, is it?
I think the films work really well as they are.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 06 Feb 2008, 16:04

Itstoolatebaby wrote:None of the Hyman Roth stuff is in the book, is it?
I think the films work really well as they are.



Right - to clarify.........I think the two films are the two greatest films ever made.

My points were:

a) It would be great to see an uncensored, chronological compilation of the two films, and

b) Do you think, had Coppola known in advance that there to be two films, he would have made them the way he did, or produce them chronologically?
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 06 Feb 2008, 16:18

Diamond Dog wrote:[
b) Do you think, had Coppola known in advance that there to be two films, he would have made them the way he did, or produce them chronologically?


I don't think it could have happened that way.

The original was adapted from Mario Puzo's book. The storyline was pretty much in place, though Coppola invested it with far more insight than the source material. The sequel was created from whole cloth after the success of the original. Coppola and Puzo threw it together in a matter of months. I doubt that Coppola could have envisioned it wihout the experience of living with those characters and making the first film.

When you think of it, part 2 really is a miraculous achievment. It was written so well that it seems like it was inevitable - as if poor Fredo was doomed all the way through the first one too. But I think that if the studio had asked for two Godfather films from the beginning, I doubt Coppola would have known where to get started.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Conrad Knight Socks » 06 Feb 2008, 17:14

Diamond Dog wrote:
a) It would be great to see an uncensored, chronological compilation of the two films


That's nice for you - I think it would detract significantly from the impact of the two works combined, as the effect of seeing Vito Corleone draw people to him as he builds his empire contrasted with Michael driving everyone away as he tries to maintain it/run it his way is vital to that impact. As I recall the book is also not chronological.

b) Do you think, had Coppola known in advance that there to be two films, he would have made them the way he did, or produce them chronologically?


The story of the second film would not have been the same, but it is possible or even likely that Coppola would not have covered Vito's early life in the first film. That is dealt with in the book in a self-contained passge (as I recall). Although no doubt he would have avoided Lucy Mancini's "issues", he probably would have covered the material concerning Johnny Fontaine and the truck-driving singer, and the material concerning the development of Luca Brasi as his principal weapon.
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Re: The Godfather Thread

Postby Sneelock » 08 Feb 2008, 07:14

I think the way the second film tells Vito's story and the Vegas story concurrently really gives more power to both. the whole really is stronger and the sum of the parts ain't too shabby either!